LABELS: Marco Polo
WORKS: Horn Concerto; Fairytale Suite; Farnham Suite
PERFORMER: Michael Thompson (horn); Royal Ballet Sinfonia/David Lloyd-Jones
CATALOGUE NO: 8.225039
Brian Kay’s choice is adventurous and entertaining; many of these brilliant pieces are little known and seldom heard. Malcolm Sargent’s An Impression on a Windy Day shows that he had considerable talent as a composer as well as a conductor. His portrait of wild, blustery byways is supremely evocative. Among so many memorable works, conducted with considerable panache, I would just mention Gordon Jacobs’s wickedly funny Rossini parody, The Barber of Seville Goes to the Devil, Maurice Johnstone’s lovely Lakeland celebration Tarn Hows and David Lyon’s Joie de vivre, which has just that.
David Lloyd-Jones conducts the David Lyon works on the new Marco Polo release with great commitment and enthusiasm. I admit to being bowled over by Lyon’s compositions, which are strongly melodic and superbly crafted. All these works are little gems and deserve to be much better known. I was especially attracted to his bewitching and glittering Fairytale Suite based on Hans Andersen’s The Snow Queen; the enchanting, lyrical Farnham Suite; the catchy miniature Country Lanes with its clever key changes and jaunty high woodwinds, as the music keeps pace with pony and cart; and the spiky but energetic and attention-gripping Ballet for Orchestra. Ian Lace